Shira route


What to Expect on the Shira Route?

Starts at: 3,400m/11,548.5 feet  

Best for: Experienced climbers

Known for: Tranquility and amazing views

Hike Shira for: High starting altitude with short time to acclimatize

Highlights of Shira Route

Very Scenic:

You'll enjoy most of the same views as the Lemosho route, without the rainforest trek.

Barranco Wall:

This is a 257 meters rock wall that you scramble to climb it. It is one of the best experience on Kilimanjaro.

Minimum Trekking days:

You can do it in 7 days. We recommend you do it in 8 days to allow your body to acclimatize well.

Choose Wisely:

It is doable but very challenging for some people on day 1 as you go straight to a higher elevation.

7 days Shira route

Day 1 - shira cave

Day 1: Shira Starting Point (3,400 meters) to Shira 1 Camp (3,610 meters)

We will drive to Moram Barrier which is (3,400 meters/11,154 ft) ready for the start of the trek. After registering for the climb, you will hike a short (3,610 meters/11,843 ft) to a camp called Shira 1. 

  • Distance: 3 km./ 3,281 ft.
  • Trekking time: 1 – 1.5 hours
  • Zone: Heath and Moorland
  • Altitude gain: 210 meters

Day 2: Shira 1 Camp (3,610 meters) to Moir Hut (4,200 meters)

After breakfast, you will start a long and tough trek leaving the Shira plateau towards the Moir Hut Camp. Before reaching the Moir Hut Camp, you will enjoy great views of the Shira Plateau and Shira Caldera. This is a perfect day for taking photos of the scenery. Prepare your camera!. After the long hike, enjoy a hot lunch served between Shira 1 and Moir Hut.

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Trekking time: 6-8 hours
  • Zone: Low Alpine Desert zone/ High Alpine Desert zone
  • Altitude gain: 590 meters

Day 3: Moir Hut Camp (4,200 meters) to Lava Tower (4,600 meters) and then Barranco Camp (3,900 meters)

We start the day climbing up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.

Moir Hut to Lava Tower

  • Elevation: 13,800 ft to 15,190 ft
  • Distance: 7 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower to BarrancoCamp

  • Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
  • Distance: 3 km/2 miles
  • Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,900 meters) to Karanga Camp (3,995 meters)

We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. Once more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization. Baranceo is one of the most memorable areas for climbers!

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

  • Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5: Karanga Camp (3,995 meters) to Barafu Camp (4,673 meters)

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. You can view the two picture-perfect peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo from this position.

Karanga Camp to BarafuCamp

  • Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
  • Distance: 4 km/2 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 6: Barafu Camp (4,673 meters) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and then Mweka Camp (3,100 meters)

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we’ll begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), but you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Barafu Camp to UhuruPeak

  • Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to MwekaCamp

  • Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
  • Distance: 12 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Day 7: Mweka Camp (3,100 meters) to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)

On our last day, we continue the descend from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate 

  • Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Here is where your Kilimanjaro mountain trek ends!

Please note:

  • Itineraries are flexible and we customize them according to your needs. 
  • Airport pick up and drop off are optional, meaning if you are already in Moshi or Arusha or you can arrange your own airport transfers, we can take them out of the price for this tour.
  • Pre- and post-climb accommodations are optional.

Trekking Packages

We'd love to answer your questions!


Inquire Shira Route Trek

Shira treks start at $2,600 per person, Inquire for a quote below.